How do you know you’ve healed?
August 1, 2017

roses“Wow. That was unnecessary.”

That’s what I thought immediately -- and I mean right that very second -- after someone lit into me about a supposedly stupid question a few years ago. It wasn’t objectively stupid, but that isn’t the point. The point was this person’s attempt to shame me, which didn’t work.

I couldn’t get over that. It hadn’t worked. I’m a shame magnet. I can smell it from miles away. It rushes in and sticks to me like whatever they fill bug traps with. I’m trapped, all right. Katie was visibly bored by my choice of conversation topics one morning when we were on vacation five years ago, and I still get this little ache inside just thinking about it. Isn’t that sad?

I’m okay with it, though. If Katie didn’t matter to me as much as she does, her reaction to even the seemingly insignificant wouldn’t matter as much. There’s no wishy-washy with either of us. It’s intense. And fun? God we have fun.

She’s become my benchmark for friendship. The proverbial high bar. Keep me interested, or I’m not interested. I used to think it was a character flaw to prefer the company of people who didn’t bore me, but that was a reflection of the company I used to keep. Now I follow Kate’s example and gravitate toward people who are interesting and kind.

Katie helps me realize how much energy I’ve wasted on people who are thoughtless, or worse. For a while that was okay. For a while that kind of drama -- with no improvement, let alone resolution -- held my interest. Now I’m ashamed of myself. Is it possible to literally bore yourself to death? Just the other day I thought, “This is as close as I want to come to the line.”

I’d like to think there are other problems the world needs my help to solve. Like a good journalist, I’m going to experiment with that idea -- and report in on the results.